UPS Recommendations

Aaron Toponce aaron.toponce at
Thu Aug 12 11:25:10 MDT 2010

On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 10:38:18AM -0600, Michael Torrie wrote:
> Regular UPS units use normal, sealed leadacid batteries.  Anyway, going
> solar is a neat idea.  Let us know how it works out and how the
> economics fly.  Are you planning, then, an off-grid system?

I thought they were "gel cells", but looking at Wikipedia, I guess
they're essentially the same, except the cell chemical is different, and
the lack of needing to add water. I don't know about the power draw
differences between the two, though.

It'll be hybrid. Eventually, I would like to go 100% off-grid, but that
might be a bit. Looking at 220W panels for roughly $500 makes it very
attractable for my wife and I.

Not only solar, but I've looked at a gas generator as well. Gas is
cheap, and the generators are inexpensive, so that could work in an
emergency for a day or two worth of power (as long as I can keep feeding
it gas).

I'm in contact with someone else in Ogden who is meeting 1/4 of his
power needs with only 6 175W panels. He's planning on getting 3
additional panels. He's mentioned some unique wiring schemes with the
batteries (parallel, vs serial, vs hybrid wiring). And the tax credit
makes it worth the initial cost.

> In some cases solar power (or even wind) is really complicated.  You can
> arrange to sell electricity back to the grid, and then draw from the
> grid during no sunshine periods, making the grid act as a sort of
> battery for you.  But in most states the politics are such that while
> you can make your net electricity rate 0, but you have to still pay the
> line fees.  So being completely neutral with the electrical company is
> quite difficult.

I don't know anything about selling the power back. For the time being,
I'm just concerned about minimizing my power bill. I'm sure there's all
sorts of politics involved, good and bad. I guess time will tell. But I
would imagine just paying for the line feed would be cheaper than my
monthly bill. Maybe not. I'll look into it.

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